Auraria students awoke Feb. 1 to the cold hard fact that campus was open despite the bone-chilling temperatures.
And some students weren’t shy about telling Metro President Stephen Jordan how they felt via Metro’s official Facebook page.
“Schools closing tomorrow-not that ya care,” Metro student Tina R. posted. “But some students (like me) have kids that won’t have school again tomorrow that we will need to stay home with!!!!”
Louie S. was less diplomatic: “I would like to see Dr. Jordan walk from class to class in this cold! What is [he] doing? Is he even on campus? Prolly (sic) not he might just be in Hawii (sic) having the time of his life and if he isn’t, i (sic) think they should put his office outside in the cold for a couple days and then tell us how he feels. THANKS FOR NOT CLOSING SCHOOL YOUR ON MY SHIT LIST!”
In a Feb. 2 interview with The Metropolitan, Jordan said he understands students’ frustration but stands by his decision.
“I still believe we did not have a set of conditions that would compel us to close a public institution,” Jordan said.
Jordan said he was downtown at 7 a.m walking around campus, as well as to and from Writer Square.
“I can fully appreciate a whole variety of reasons why some students aren’t able to make it — and we said that in the e-mail,” he said. “I’m sorry; I think there are a lot of other issues at stake. We’re a public institution. Taxpayers pay for this place to operate, and students pay for it.”
Jordan said he’s been equally criticized in the past for closing campus.
The school published a letter from Jordan on the home page and MetroConnect explaining why campus was open, after student complaints grew.
The decision to close campus is made by the Auraria Higher Education Center’s Interim Executive Vice President for Administration, Barbara Weiske, Jordan said. No institution can close independently.
Weiske had consulted with Jordan, executives at CCD and UCD, as well as the Colorado State Patrol and Denver police to ensure roads were safe for travel, he said.
Jordan said he also consulted with physicians at the Health Center.
Director of the Health Center Stephen Monaco said his physicians advised that, if students and faculty bundled up, there would be no harm from the cold.
“The key-word is dressed,” Monaco said. “Cold temperature in and of itself does not cause harm. It’s that students aren’t dressed appropriately.”
Monaco said the Health Center is willing to talk with any student who has questions about how to dress correctly during the winter months.
Feb. 1’s high was minus 1. It was the first time since 1997 the city’s temperature did not rise above zero during the day, according to the National Weather Service.
All four-year public colleges in the metro area were open Feb. 1 and 2.
Monaco said he could not comment on whether or not the Health Center had treated any student for weather-related illnesses.